Paul’s Identity in Christ
- Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality traits, appearance, and/or expressions that characterize a person or group.
- “Identities tell us who we are and they announce to others who we are” (Peter Burke).
- Our identities guide behavior and inform how we are “supposed” to act.
- Who Am I? My Identity in Christ. Paul’s Identity.
I. Paul’s Identity was Not Fixed; It Changed (Philippians 3:1-3).
II. Paul’s Identity was Multi-Layered (Philippians 3:3-6).
III. Paul’s Chose to Prioritize His Identity in Christ (Philippians 3:7-11)
IV. Paul’s Choice was Not Easy (Philippians 3:12-15)
- How we see ourselves is constantly changing due to factors such as heredity, social groups, personal traits & actions, decisions, and beliefs.
- Paul’s identity changed when he became a Christian and he chose to prioritize that identity above all others.
- We, like Paul, must we willing subordinate all that we are to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
My new series of messages is entitled, Who Am I? My Identity in Christ. Last week we answered the question, “Who Am I” in terms of Psalm 8:1-4 and the song of the same name by Casting Crowns. We concluded that we are Finite, Known, Lost, Loved, Broken, Heard, Saved, and Yours (Belonging to God). For the purpose of abbreviation, we can summarize this as Loved, Forgiven, and Called. This is our identity in Christ.
This Sunday we will examine Philippians 3:1-15 and explore Paul’s identity before and after Christ. Identity is not fixed, but it changes throughout life. We will see that factors such as heredity, social groups, personal traits & actions, decisions, and beliefs all affect how we see ourselves and inform how we are “supposed” to act based on that identity. Paul’s identity was revolutionarily changed by his encounter with Jesus. His devotion to Christ led him to put that relationship before every other thing – even those things he at one time had dearly cherished, But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ (Philippians 3:7-8).
I will also reference the diagram below to illustrate how various factors influenced Paul’s (and our) sense of identity! Come join us!
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